This is the first know Cyberattack on power grids in the United States. No blackout, so let’s not take this out of context, but “blind spots” are enough reasons to consider this unintended attack seriously. Hackers were able to penetrate the firewall to cause periodic electric downtimes or blind spots on the west coast last March at a power grid company. This did not affect the flow of actual electricity, but the unsettling feeling that hackers (foreign or not) is not to be taken lightly.
A North American Electric Reliability Corporation document described the type of vulnerabilities that let hackers compromise the relevant web portals. The weaknesses of cybersecurity is not a trend that seems to be under control. Hackers are constantly on the innovative side looking for backdoors to disrupt our daily lives.
Electricity, on the other hand, is not to toy with. If a power grid is to go down in any major city in the United States, it will have a chaotic wave that could cause death in the long run. Hospitals are a primary concern if a blackout remains for an extended period. Cybersecurity experts are constantly working to eliminate any unchecked open doors, but unfortunately, hackers seem to be a few steps ahead these days.
The latest NERC “lesson” calls on utilities to add additional defenses beyond a firewall, which is designed to block malicious or unwanted web traffic from spilling into power companies’ sensitive control networks.